Saturday, February 17, 2007

The somethingth letter from Paradise...:September 14, 2005

Dearest everyone,
To begin, our prayers have been answered, and our Lord continues to work mighty miracles. One contact is swiftly overcoming a deadly addiction and even faster seeing the blessings of the Lord in her life. Yes, she will be baptized, and then her children will grow up in the Gospel, and her son is going to prepare to go on a mission.
So, Ladispoli is still heaven. I truly think so, and just recently I realized that one day I will have to leave... sad... and I am not going to think about it anymore. Today we went to Rome to play American Football with the other Elders. My companion played Football in High School and Rugby in College, so he was enthralled by the prospect. I support him. It's that simple. We are also a coppia - companionship, so I also played. I got sunburned (is that the lesson for tonight - all the uses of got?... I'm not sure) and then slathered my face with Aloe Vera with hydrolidocaine. I guess I'll see tonight if I can sleep. I truly love Ladispoli.
So, our massive rainstorm last week (yes, you can remember that far back) did soak us. Absolutely. We went a few stores down where I remembered a Tutto per la Casa - Everything for the Home store, and banged on the almost-closed metal door (like a manual garage door). They had no umbrellas. Naturally. But don't cry, because they had beach umbrellas. We bought one, and walked home through the rivers and lakes and streams that had strangely appeared with hours of torrential rain. At least we didn't get hit by car splash. Also, this huge rainstorm made it impossible for us to have our huge member-missionary fireside, and cut the power on the man who was making our DVD's 2 times, and many other problems... The adversary seems to be taking mind of us here. It can only mean that great good is going to be done. So, the fireside was cancelled, and at least one member is grateful for that because her basement flooded... but it wasn't rainwater. It was sewage - the thief-man (yes, it is a good word, because the man she hired to help her move is stealing her of everything she owns with her own conoscenza - knowledge) turned off the sewage pump and there were 2 inches of darkish yellow-brown material that had a remarkably strong odor all over her floor. We called a few members and got to work, first dousing everything with Candeggina - Bleach. My nose may still hurt - I'm not sure. It was OK, because we didn't have the DVD's anyway to give out. Saturday we went to the office and masterizzed our copies, then Sunday during church we did the presentation. It was a huge success - we had 34? people in Church and 6 nonmembers in Sacrament meeting, as well as most of our inactives. Because of that, almost everyone we wanted to work with now has a member-missionary packet. The Lord also doubled our investigator pool Sunday and Monday - old contacts called us and set up appointments (doesn't happen), old contacts called us from the park and set up appointments (doesn't happen), and someone actually brought a friend to Church (will happen mush more often now). We will have this huge open house this Saturday, and we hope to double or triple again. Every member committed to bring someone to the Open House, and many are inviting everyone they know. Then next week we have a huge service project for Helping Hands - all of Italy is doing service on the 24th, and the week after is General Conference, and the week after is a Baptism, and the week after we will probably have an Emergency Preparedness seminar concurrently with Rome 1 (we have an ambulance that wants to do a presentation, but we don't have the space here at Ladispoli and many people have no way to get to Rome just for an activity), and the next week.... We are setting up dominoes to catch the branch on fire, and I think it is happening. It is truly amazing to watch as people's mindsets change in the light of the Gospel and Missionary Work.
I am grateful for the support that everyone gives - and the best form is simply wishing to prepare to serve a mission yourselves. In reality, you may never serve a full-time mission in your youth. You may never serve with a spouse, and you may never serve as a proselyting missionary, but we are all part of the missionary work of God - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Truly, the best way you can help the missionaries in the field is to prepare to serve a mission yourself. Do everything - set aside money to dedicate to the Lord, be in good physical shape, learn the scriptures and memorize them, mark your scriptures, learn how to teach, and then the Lord will bless you with missionary opportunities. You don't need to have a black name tag to be involved in the work - you may serve in the Temple or in your family or anywhere at all. Simply prepare to serve a mission and you will gain the skills and talents and blessings that will enable you to be a good family member, friend, citizen, and member of the Church and Kingdom of God. It is a different way to look at Gospel study - if you have a goal of serving a mission someday, you will have the blessings of God. Look at your future and determine what the possibilities are. Maybe you'll be called as a mission president, or a couple missionary, or a senior missionary, or a temple worker, or a genealogy worker, or a service missionary, or a ward missionary, or a parent, or a grandparent... we all will be called to a mission, and preparing to serve a full-time mission is the best preparation and the best support we can give to those we love. I love you all!
Have a great day, and take time to sing during your trials.
Anziano David Peterson

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